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Trump's Visit Debated in U.K.; Secretary Tillerson May Soon Step Out; Sexual Misconduct Allegations Piling Up; Pope Francis Visits Rohingya Muslims; Kim Jong-nam's Anticipated Death; Eight Killed As Militants Target Pakistan Institute; Japanese Emperor Set To Abdicate In 2019; Christmas Markets Open; Global Warning Arctic Melt; Disney's Choice To Play Mulan. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired December 1, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: President could be pushing out his top diplomat at a critical time for U.S. foreign policy.

Plus, some British politicians are lobbying to cancel the state visit by Mr. Trump.

And later this hour, a CNN exclusive. We travel to Greenland to see the effects of melting glaciers.

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now.

Around the world, good day to you. A likely shakeup at the U.S. State Department. that is the signal from the Trump White House at a time when the United States is facing some of its most dire diplomatic challenges in decades.

The U.S. president is said to be deeply unhappy with his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. One source telling CNN, quote, "The clock is ticking for Mr. Tillerson."

But those familiar with the situation say Mr. Trump doesn't want to fire his secretary of state, instead he hopes public shaming will force Tillerson out of the job possibly by the end of the year. One former U.S. ambassador says Tillerson is in a no-win situation.


RYAN CROCKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN: Whatever time he has left he is not going to be taken seriously by too many world leaders. That is also very dangerous.

So, this is not a celebrity TV show. You have got to have credibility. When the secretary speaks, people have off to know that that he is speaking for the president. So this is, it puts Tillerson in an impossible position. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: One question, among many world leaders when speaking with Tillerson, the drama over Mr. Tillerson is playing out against the backdrop of global problems from North Korea to one of extreme strained relations with the United States and the United Kingdom.

Our Jim Acosta has this report.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want Rex Tillerson on the job, Mr. President?



JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a new episode of cabinet member apprentice that feels like a rerun. Once again, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appears to be on his way out. Sources tell CNN President Trump is considering a plan to replace Tillerson with the CIA director Mike Pompeo. But the White House is pushing back.


SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We've said many times before as many of you love to write these type of stories, when the president loses his confidence in someone they will no longer, serve in the capacity that they're in.

REX TILLERSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Some days I feel like I need to do that. Curl up in a ball.


ACOSTA: It's no secret Tillerson has been on thin ice for weeks ever since he was quoted as calling the president a moron. Mr. Trump responded by challenging Tillerson to an I.Q. test.


SANDERS: The president certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke. Maybe you should get a since of humor and try it sometimes.


ACOSTA: Sources say Arkansas GOP Senator Tom Cotton is a leading contender to replace Pompeo at the CIA. Like Pompeo, Cotton is much more in line with the president's hawkish approach for combatting terrorism, even echoing Mr. Trump's use on torture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM COTTON, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Waterboarding isn't torture. We do waterboarding to around shelters in the military.


ACOSTA: Potential shake-up at the State Department comes as the White House is facing a diplomatic uproar with a key U.S. ally after President Trump re-tweeted unverified anti-Muslim videos from a far right neo fascist hate group in Britain. One video claims a boy on crutches was beaten by a Muslim migrant. But as it turns out the attacker was born and raised in the Netherlands. The president's re- tweets sparked outrage in Britain.


STEPHEN DOUGHTY, BRITISH LABOUR M.P.: By sharing it he is a racist, incompetent, unthinking or all three.


ACOSTA: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said the president was wrong to post the videos, prompting this response from Mr. Trump. "Don't focus on me. Focus on the destructive, radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine."

When pressed whether the videos were accurate, the White House dodged the question.


SANDERS: I think what he's done is elevate the conversion to talk about a real issue and a real threat and that's extreme violence and extreme terrorism, something that we know to be very real. And something the president feels strongly about, talking about and bringing up and making is an issue every single day. That we are looking at the best ways to protect Americans.


ACOSTA: But May isn't backing down.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The fact that we work together does not mean that we are afraid to say of when we think the United States who got it wrong. And to be very clear with them and I'm very clear that re-tweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.



ACOSTA: The State Department warning the videos could touch off protests at embassies around the world. Even some republicans in Washington are raising questions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[03:05:00] LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: When you embrace religious bigotry. When you say that all Muslims are the same then you are undercutting our effort to win the war. All of our Muslim allies throughout the world have to be disappointed that President Trump chose to embrace this web site.


ACOSTA: Just this week, the president has railed against undocumented immigrants, NFL players, and called Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas while honoring Navajo war heroes.

CNN has also learned the president question the politics of acknowledging Barack Obama was born in the U.S., something he finally did last year. Mr. Trump believes he would have done better in election that he continued to embrace the debunked conspiracy theory.


TRUMP: President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.


HOWELL: Jim Acosta reporting. And again, ending on that completely ridiculous fully debunked conspiracy theory about the former President Obama to now the backlash from the United Kingdom given the current president's re-tweets of unverified anti-Muslim videos.

Our Phil Black on the story live just outside number 10 this hour. Phil, it's good to have you with us. Let's talk about this back and forth between President Trump and prime Minister May that's kicked off renewed debate among M.P's demanding any state visit from Mr. Trump be canceled.

PHIL BLACK, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, that's right, George. So what you have had from the British prime minister as you heard there was criticism, but limited and specific. Saying that Donald Trump was wrong. The government was saying that it is determined to point out that mistake on the part of the president and making the point that Britain can do so even though that Britain and the United States are very close allies.

It is also urging Britain and really, the collective political establishment here to think about the big picture. And that is the relationship between Britain and the United States, the so-called special relationship.

So Theresa May could have gone further. She could have demanded an apology. She could have demanded that the tweets be removed. She didn't do that. She is simply saying, as she says being clear that she believes that the president was wrong and shouldn't have done this.

And hanging over all of this of course, as you touched on, is the state visit. When Theresa May visited Donald Trump not long after he was inaugurated as president she issued an invitation for a state visit to this country on behalf of the queen. That's a very big deal.

There's a lot of pomp and ceremony. It means staying at Buckingham Palace, riding in the carriage with the queen, state banquet, that sort of thing.

From the outset it was always a very controversial move because Donald Trump in this country is a very controversial figure. Long before this people have tended to be fairly critical of his policies and ideas and tweets and statements, particularly on issues when it comes to immigration and race.

And so now with this latest disagreement over these tweets from the British far right group, Britain First, it is thought that he is overstep the mark. He's gone too far. That's certainly the view that was expressed many times in Britain's parliament yesterday.

But when it comes to this issue of the state visit, the British government is really giving a very limited response, saying that the invitation has been issued. It has been accepted. The dates haven't yet been set. But as it stands it is very difficult to see this visit taking place in this country in the foreseeable future, George.

HOWELL: Phil, though, so we've seen the debate among M.P's. We've heard from the British prime minister and government saying that that relationship between the U.S. and U.K. is enduring. But what is the sentiment among people throughout the country seeing this back and forth between the U.S. president and the British prime minister that was very direct on Twitter.

BLACK: Indeed. I think there will be many people here that would like to see the prime minister go even further, to be even stronger on this. Because as I say, Donald Trump is not a popular figure here. There has long been a popular movement, a petition to try and stop Donald Trump from coming here. Certainly to stop him from coming here with all of the pomp and ceremony and the honor that a state visit bestows upon him.

And so, they would like to see that stop. You heard in parliament yesterday calls for him to be arrested should he enter the country. The level of feeling here on this is very strong. There are very few things I think that British politicians and the broader public tend to achieve something close to a consensus.

But this is one of them. That you should not flirt with hate groups. And Donald Trump has a reputation for doing that in his own country. To be doing it in this country for the people here, as I say, a step too far for pretty much everyone here, George.

HOWELL: Phil Black on the story live outside number 10 Downing Street. Phil, thank you for the reporting today.

Another point where the U.S. president and the secretary of state here in the U.S. have been at odds, deals with the proposal to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Trump administration is seriously considering it. And that would also mean moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. [03:10:04] CNN's Michelle Kosinski has that story from the State Department.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Right. So Congress dictates that every six months the White House needs to sign a waiver keeping the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. But now we're hearing from multiple sources, including one close to the White House, including senior foreign diplomats that this time around in a matter of days something is going to change.

It is expected that the president will sign the waiver again so that keeps the embassy in Tel Aviv for the next six months. But it is expected that he will announce that the U.S. now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Of course, the Palestinian also see Jerusalem as their capital. It is also expected that the president will make some kind of move regarding the embassy. But the definition of all this is still pretty unclear.

For example, the president could announce that the U.S. recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel's, and east Jerusalem as the Palestinians. You could say the entire embassy isn't moving. But the U.S. ambassador will be based in Jerusalem and other staff will be in Tel Aviv.

That's what we're waiting to see. But still there are many questions and many concerns as you can imagine in this region and beyond. Just tonight we heard from senior diplomats, one from Europe, one from the Middle East. Both of whom say they are confounded by the timing of this.

They're worried about what this means for stability in the region. And of course the peace process in the future.

We were, though, at a dinner tonight at which Jared Kusher, who has been tasked by the president, and his father-in-law with trying to solve the problem of Middle East peace said that we shouldn't be under any illusion as the to the challenge we face in that arena.

Also there was the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. And he wouldn't comment on any details he knows about this plan. But he said with confidence we hope for the best.

Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.

HOWELL: Michelle, thank you for the reporting.

There is a new report that the U.S. President Donald Trump pressed Senate republicans to end the Russia probe. According to the New York Times it happened repeatedly over the summer. The president reportedly told the Senate majority leader, the head of the Senate intelligence committee, and other to end the investigation quickly.

According to the Times, the senators chalked it up to Mr. Trump being a political newcomer.

The White House says the president never attempted to apply undue influence on committee members.

The republican plan to reform taxes here in the United States hit a big snag on Thursday night. That plan would increase the deficit by around $1 trillion. So, one senator proposed the plan to actually trigger a tax increase that would happen if the expected economic growth didn't happen. But that's not permitted under Senate rules.

Now senators are looking for other ways to make up for that short fall. The Senate will be back in session in a matter of hours to discuss that.

The faction of the Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for an attack at the agricultural training institute in Peshawar. Police say three attackers stormed the school there. But three were killed.

A clearance operation is presently underway. Dozens of students were inside that school when this attack started. Authorities say 11 people were wounded in this particular incident.

There is a new development in the murder case of the North Korean leader's half-brother. Malaysian authorities say Kim Jong-nam was carrying an antidote for VX nerve agent when he was killed. That's the same chemical that he was allegedly murdered with back in February.

Following this story is CNN's Paula Newton is in the South Korean capital Seoul, South Korea. Paula, good to have you on the show this hour. Explain this particular revelation, how it came about and what impact it could have in the mystery surrounding his death?

PAULA NEWTON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes. Hey, George. It is quite a twist of the story. I mean, think about it. Did this man live in so much fear that he would be assassinated by his half-brother that he actually not only carried the antidote for VX nerve agent with him because he had such insight into not only could he be killed but how he killed.

And that is exactly what a Malaysian courtroom heard. They had toxicology report that said, that he had 12 tablets of this antidote. It is a fairly anti-seizure drug. But you can't take it as an antidote to nerve gas.

Now having said that what is also intriguing here, George, is the fact that he apparently had 12 tablets. The problem is that the 12 tablets would not have done him much good. As the experts have told us, when you have that nerve agent apply you die within minutes and that is pretty much what happened to him.

[03:15:01] He didn't take the antidote that was in his bag. It was in tablet form, he stumbled into a clinic, was rushed to hospital but then died on the way.

What is interesting here is did he remember he had these tablets. Did he know that they would likely be useless just from the amount of that nerve agent that was pressed on to his face and his skin, and why he was carrying it.

Now we have to state that North Korea denies any involvement in his murder. George?

HOWELL: And Paula, that was the other question I was going to ask because there been any other response from others throughout the region given this new revelation.

NEWTON: Well, South Korea that's keeping tabs on this say that they do have informants that tell them that for the last few years Kim Jong-un has been looking to assassinate his brother. Because he feels that he was a threat not that he had much sway within North Korea. But that he feared that somehow western nations would use him to try and infiltrate the regime and then that's why he was such a target for his brother.

I want to point out he hadn't been in North Korea in years and was living in Macau. What's interesting here, though, again is evidence. Where is the evidence of this? North Korea continues to claim that there is no evidence that this was the case.

But just so chilling to think that this man lived in fear of assassination and may have even known how he would be assassinated given his knowledge of his brother and the regime and that's why he had the 12 tablets in his bag.

Some experts say, you know, maybe he thought, look, I could at least take some of those and see if I could slow down the seizure, and perhaps still survive an attack like that.

HOWELL: These are certainly fascinating details. Paula Newton, live for us. Paula, thank you for the reporting there.

Still to come, Pope Francis is in Bangladesh where he mentions Myanmar's refugee crisis but he doesn't utter the word human rights activists want him to Rohingya.

Plus, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, all of these men lost their jobs amid sexual misconduct allegations. More coming, why aren't top politicians though, getting the same treatment? The double standard, ahead.

Newsroom pushed on.


HOWELL: Welcome back. I'm George Howell. Pope Francis scheduled to meet with 18 Rohingya refugees in the coming hours. He is presently in Bangladesh where he has been celebrating mass and ordaining new priests.

Earlier, he urged the international community to solve the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. Myanmar, where more than 600,000 Muslims have fled since August.

But he refrained once again from using the word Rohingya to describe the Muslim refugee crisis.

Let's bring CNN's Delia Gallagher, joining us now live from Dhaka with more on the pope's trip.

[03:20:01] Delia again, this a very delicate dance for the pope here. Without saying that word that so many activists want him to say.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, George. He's taken some criticism for his choice. A deliberate one, it seems not to call the Rohingya people by the name that they prefer before but rather to use the terminology that is accepted in Myanmar which are Muslims from the Rakhine state.

We interpret this to be a position on the part of the pope to achieve a political solution to this problem. The Vatican thinking was going into this people were aware of the pope's attention to the Rohingya people because he has spoken about it twice from the Vatican. He was one of the first, way back in 2015 even before this August influx 600,000 to speak out on their behalf.

So, the Vatican feels that it's clear, you know, where the pope stands on it. But the question now is, how do you move ahead. And so what he has done here, George, is twofold.

One, he's calling on the international community by which he means the U.N. or even some of the Southeast Asia countries here to try and get to the table and help achieve a political solution to a complex problem. And the other is to call on humanitarian aid for Bangladesh and for the refugees here.

As you say, George, in just a few hours, the pope will be meeting with a group of those refugees. We do not expect public statements from the pope. They are going to come up on stage and greet him, probably in a private way, with a small chat and a photo opportunity.

But you never know with Pope Francis, so we'll stay tune to see if he does indeed, say anything more publicly about the situation. George?

HOWELL: You never know indeed. This is a pope who has been outspoken in the past on various issues. Again, walking a delicate line it seems here, you say possibly by design. But we'll see, if indeed he does say the word Rohingya.

Delia Gallagher, live for us. Thank you for the reporting.

We move on now to Argentina, that nation calling off its rescue mission for a missing submarine. A submarine with 44 people on board it. The Argentine Navy along with the U.S., international organizations have been scouring the South Atlantic Ocean since the submarine disappeared back on November 15.

The spokesperson says the navy allowed nearly double the possible survival time for the crew. Now they're reorganizing into search only missions and they won't stop until they find that submarine.

Here in the United States another high profile figure has come under fire. This time amid allegations of harassment and sexual assault. It's music mogul Russell Simmons now stepping down from his companies because of that. In a column published in the Hollywood reporter. The screenwriter say the founder of Def jam Recordings forced her to

have sex with him in 1991. In a statement, Simmons said that he had a different memory of that event, evening, rather. But added this.

"It is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I humbly apologized," end quote.

Also, Matt Lauer apologizing. The U.S. network NBC fired the Today Show anchor following accusations of sexual harassment by multiple women.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Lauer said that he is truly sorry for the people that he's the hurt. He also said that some of what is being said about him is either untrue or mischaracterized. But added, "There is enough truth in these stories to make him feel embarrassed and ashamed."

Well, major figures in entertainment and in media are stepping down, getting fired over the sexual harassment or misconduct allegations. Top politicians well, they're seeing a double standard. Many accused of misconduct but not paying the same consequences.

CNN's Sara Ganim reports there are growing calls to change that double standard.

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, a new call do step aside from an ally of Michigan Congressman John Conyers amid accusations from four different women alleging sexual harassment against the 88-year- old democrat.

Assistant democratic leader, James Clyburn who initially defended Conyers is now withdrawing his support, a source telling CNN Clyburn thinks it's in Conyers best interest. This after one of Conyers accusers, Marion Brown, publicly broke the terms of her settlement agreement in order to speak out.


MARION BROWN, CONYERS ACCUSER: It was sexual harassment. Violating, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business. And then proposition me to, you know, for sex.


[03:25:06] GANIM: Conyers is being treated in an area hospital for dizziness with the media camped outside his Detroit home. Congressman Clyburn joins the bipartisan call for Conyers resignation.


PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: No one should have to go through something like that. Let alone, here in Congress. So, yes, I think he should resign. I think he should resign immediately. NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MINORITY LEADER: It's very sad. The brave women who came forward are owed justice. I pray for Congressman Conyers and his family and wish them well. However, Congressman Congress should resign.


GANIM: But Conyers remains defiant.


ARNOLD REED, ATTORNEY FOR JOHN CONYERS: It's not up to Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi did not elect the congressman and she sure as hell won't be the one to tell the congressman to leave.


GANIM: Conyers lawyer implying it's an effort to take over his powerful seat on the judiciary committee.


REED: There have people that wanted John Conyers to step down for years.


GANIM: Marion Brown spoke to NBC despite having signed a nondisclosure agreement with Conyers when she settled the case in 2014.


BROWN: He just violated my body. He has touched me in different ways.


GANIM: On the other side of the capital, a fifth woman has accused Minnesota Senator Al Franken of sexual misconduct. Army veteran Stephanie Kemplin said when she was stationed in Kuwait in 2003, Franken groped her during a photo-op while he was on a USO tour.

She told CNN she turned away moments before this photo was snapped. Saying quote, "When he put his arm around me he groped my right breast. And I remember thinking is he going to move his hand."

Franken put out a statement, saying in part, "he has never intentionally engaged in this this kind of conduct." Today Franken refused to address the growing list of accusers.


AL FRANKEN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Looking forward to it, fighting this terrible tax bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP) GANIM: Franken for the first time now facing a call to resign from a

fellow democrat. Tim Ryan who tweeted, "Congress should set the example for all industries and be a safe place for women to work."

Meanwhile, the woman who spoke out against Conyers could face legal trouble for her interview. Her attorney telling me she advise her client she could be sued by Conyers and forced to pay back her settlement money, plus additional damages should he eventually resign. Big risk she took in giving that interview but she told us she believes she was worth it.

Sara Ganim, CNN, Washington.

HOWELL: Another politician facing allegations of his own. The U.S. president will hold a campaign style near Alabama just days before its special election for the U.S. Senate. The move comes amid controversy surrounding the republican candidate Roy Moore. Roy Moore also accused of pursuing inappropriate relationships by several women.

Mr. Trump has not publicly condemned Moore but many republicans have. The White House have previously said the president would not go to Alabama to campaign for Moore. But he'll be just about 40 kilometers away from that state's border. And whatever he says will be covered there by the Alabama local media.

Still ahead here on CNN Newsroom, U.S. relations with its closest ally strained because of a re-tweet from the U.S. president. We'll have the very latest from London.

Plus, exclusive reporting from CNN. The Arctic is melting and its melting fast and that damage that caused thousands of miles away. We travel to Greenland to see for ourselves as Newsroom continues.


[03:31:00] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world you are watching CNN newsroom. And it is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we are following for you. This hour, the faction of the Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for an attack at the agricultural training institute in Peshawar, where at least eight people were killed. Police say three attackers stormed the school and were also killed. As security forces moved in and responded. Dozens of students were inside when that attack started. Authorities say 39 people also wounded. Pope Francis is in Bangladesh where he just celebrated mass. He is expected to meet with Rohingya refugees in the coming hours, earlier, he urged the international community, to solve the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. Where thousands of Muslims have fled since August. Japan's (inaudible) is set to abdicate in 2019. The 83 year-old monarch said last year that his age may make it difficult to carry out his duties. Japanese law has blocked him from stepping down, but a bill adopted this year, allows him to retire.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May publicly slammed the U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday. For retweeting unverified anti- Muslim videos from a British hate group. Some British lawmakers are so angry by Mr. Trump's actions they want to rescind an invitation for a state visit. The U.S. President even arrested. Our Nic Robertson has the latest from London.


NIC ROBERTSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: What began as a special relationship Prime Minister May rushing to D.C., holding hand with Trump, right after his inauguration, has come to this, Trump's utterly, undiplomatic personal put down of the British leader. His closest ally. After her criticism of his far right retweets. Theresa, don't focus on me, focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine. Traveling in the Middle East, May took time out to respond.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The fact that we work together does not mean we are afraid to say when we think the United States has got it wrong and be very clear with them. I am very clear, retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.



ROBERTSON: Back home in the House of Commons, a less diplomatic response.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that the 45th President chose to retweet material from Britain First is not just offensive to British people of Muslim Heritage. It is not just offensive to British people of black minority ethnic heritage. It is offensive to all decent British people.


ROBERTSON: A new low in the relationship that has been sinking since that D.C. handholding that May gave Trump the queen's invite for a state visit. In the days after. May took heat at home over Trump's travel ban announced during her visit. 1.8 million People signed a petition rejecting his invite to meet the Queen. A few months later following the U.K. terror attack. Trump initiated a twitter spat with London's mayor and after another U.K. terror attack in September, Trump threw a rebuke from May that his tweets criticizing British police, criticizing Muslims, even leaking elements of the investigation, were unhelpful. A month later, Trump used British crime statistics to wrongly tweet the rise was a result of radical Islamic terrorism. Winston Churchill's grandson, MP Nicolas Holmes, called Trump a daft twerp. But Trump continued criticisms of the U.K. government. An apparent support for right-wing racist French groups is triggering a backlash against the U.S. leader.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [03:35:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Action is needed now. Not a slap on

the wrist. Cancel the state visit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he is allowed to come to the country now he should tweeted this, anyone else who breaks the law, and charged with inciting racial hatred.


ROBERTSON: At a time when Theresa May is on the political ropes, Trump's criticism of her in an apparent support of British right-wing extremist, is just a sort of damaging distraction she doesn't need. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Nic, thanks on your reporting. Now Calendar says December. Christmas season is in the full swing around the globe. In Germany, that means tradition, traditional holiday markets. It's been one year since a deadly attack in Berlin. And many Germans are worried something similar could happen again. That is not keeping them at home. Robyn Curnow explains.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Defiant and determined. Germans rolled out and honored holiday tradition this week. The opening of Christmas markets across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can't go around being frightened of everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to orient ourselves around the fact that we live our lives as normal.

CURNOW: But it is not really normal. There is heightened security. Stepped up police presence. Large concrete barriers. The memory of last December is still fresh in the mind of many here. That is when authorities say a 24-year-old, man plowed a truck into the Berlin market, killing 12.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know what happen and it moves us. But we also agreed just as strongly that we live together and that what makes the city, openness and freedom tolerance. We will not let that be taken from us or broken.

CURNOW: A spirit that has seen the Berlin market transformed into children paradise. And the holiday redness dream. And shoppers and tourists are honoring that German tradition by flocking to the market.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Berliners are in god form, they carry on anyway, right. What else can one do?

CURNOW: This market decided to have fun with the concrete security barriers, wrapped as Christmas gifts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes it less scary for the children. They see them as presents. If they were concrete blocks there they ask themselves questions.

CURNOW: In Berlin one of the highlights of the market opening ceremony was a tribute to those who perished in last December attack. A bed of roses to celebrate the lives of the 12 victims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is the other thing which I consciously are taken notice of. That the Berliners and many people of the city, despite the shock and dismay, maybe even because of this, have developed a brave defiance.

CURNOW: A brave defiance that is spurring on a cherished tradition. Robin Curnow, CNN.


HOWELL: Melting ice in Greenland has environmentalists concerned for many reasons. Still ahead. We take you there. See what can we done about it. If anything.


[03:40:29] HOWELL: Welcome back to "Newsroom." Look at this pictures. One of the most beautiful remote locations in the world. Greenland. It isn't a place normally featured on the news, but this is a story that will likely affect everyone on the planet. The arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world as ice melts there. It is causing sea levels to rise. Clarissa Ward went there to see the damage firsthand and filed this exclusive report.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine a world where you can sail right up to the north pole, the largest ice sheet in the northern hemisphere is simply melting away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The melt is winning this game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Broken an all-time record for three consecutive years.

WARD: As oceans continue to rise. Flooding the streets of the American cities. Half a world away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens in the arctic doesn't stay in the arctic.

WARD: Imagine a world where hurricanes and heat waves wreak havoc. Politicians deny the problem as temperatures continues to rise. What I've told you this is already happening right here, right now. We are the primary cause and that only we have the power to stop it. This is Greenland. Though you will find very little Greenery here. Home to some of the most stunning wildlife on the planet. The world's largest island is more than 80 percent made up of pure ice. And only from the air that you, really get a sense of the scale and the enormity of this ice sheet. What is staggering to imagine is that in the center of the island. This ice is 2 miles thick. It looks like time had stood still for thousands of years. But this environment reflects the big changes in our world atmosphere.

As the planet gets warmer the arctic is heating up at double the rate. And Greenland in particular is warming even faster. Jason Box is an American climate scientist who has been coming to the remote corner of the world for more than 20 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The amount of water that is produced all across this landscape has increased, it has doubled in the last 50 years.

WARD: Doubled in the last 50 years. Everywhere you go in Greenland, you can see, and hear the ice sheet melting. Sometimes, a drip. Sometimes a roar. The surface etched with fast flowing rivers that carry the melt water deep down to the bed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This water cascades down, thousands of feet. And eventually makes its way to the bed. And it is heating the bed of the ice sheet. Everything is kind of stacking up. The ice is going faster than forecast.

WARD: And no sign of slowing down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The melts winning this game.

WARD: And the more Greenland melts, the more it speed up the melting process. Take it large melt lakes that are forming on top of the ice sheet. Stunning to look at, but, bad news for the ice. These lakes are deceptively beautiful. Because where is the white of the ice actually reflects the sun light. The piercing blue of the lakes actively absorbs it, heating them up. And the accelerating the rate of melt.

Perhaps the clearest example of this vicious melt cycle can be seen in Greenland's many glaciers. A glacier is a mass of thick ice. That moves under the force of its own weight. Like a slow river into the sea. But as melted water moves through the ice, it softens it. Draining to the bed where then it lubricates the movement of the glacier. We got a rare close-up view of one of Greenland fastest moving glaciers. Named Helheim after the Viking realm of the dead, it is vast and unforgiving.

[03:45:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the most productive glaciers in Greenland. About three golden gate bridge's wide and it drains in the order of like, 40 billion metric tons per year. It is look all most astronomical amount of water that this is delivering from high on the inland ice sheet down into the sea.

WARD: Between August of last year, and August of this year. New York university scientist say, Helheim retreated a whopping two miles. The furthest retreat inland they have seen in a decade. You can see vast chunks of it, crashing into the water. A process called calving.

What does that mean for the sea?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is hundreds of glaciers like this in Greenland. And many of them have doubled in speed. So the rate that Greenland is decanting into the ocean has really gone up in ways that surprise the science community.

WARD: It's not only scientists who has been surprised. 56-year-old, Tobias has been hunting with his dogs in Greenland, his whole life. just like his father and grandfather before him. Only these days, there is far less ice for dog sledding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): 50 years ago all, maybe from here to 500 meet or more is glacier so we can start dog sledding down from sea.

WARD: Is that something you have seen with your own eyes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we cannot hunt on dog sledding, only boat.

WARD: This year, Tobias has to take his dogs off the ice and back to town for the summer. He doesn't know if his grandsons will become hunters. But if the recent past is anything to go by. The future looks bleak. Warming in the las century has been faster than at any time in the past several million years.

How concerned are you by the scientific data that you have collected by the changes that you have seen here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What concerns me most is the concept of committed loss. So the amount of c02 excess in the atmosphere due to humans burning fossil fuels mainly. That commit us to more than one meter of sea level rise.

WARD: That is roughly, three feet. This is where the rest of the world comes in. Greenland doesn't play by Las Vegas rules. What happens here doesn't stay here. As temperatures increase and the melt accelerates, Greenland has become the largest source of sea level rise globally. This year after decades of decline, the amount of ice lost in Greenland was roughly equal to the amount gained. But this is an anomaly, and that even drastic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions won't be enough to stop the continued melting. Some have said if Greenland is the canary in the coal mine, the canary is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The canary is dead in that it indicates, it is time to get out of the mine. In other word we have a problem. And now is the time to start developing that response.

WARD: At summit station, weather patterns and climate change are the focus of much of the research. Remote American outpost funded by the national science foundation. It is perched at 10,600 feet, on the very top of the Greenland ice sheet. The only way to get there is on a U.S. military plane. The two hour flight from the nearest airport of (inaudible), it land on runway of snow using giant skis. All equipment and personnel have to be flown in at great expense.

It doesn't get much more remote than this. And with the high altitude, the science that is being done here at summit station requires enormous resources, and sheer physical effort. But this place is uniquely positioned to answer a crucial question. Has the arctic reached a tipping point? Engineer Zoe Corbelle explains that it is isolation is in fact its greatest asset. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a very pristine site. And free from local

influences of pollution.

WARD: Do you think summit is important to the study of climate change specifically.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been making measurements since 1980 and also drilled to bed rock. We have an ice core that extends back 140,000 years.

[03:50:06] WARD: 140,000 years?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We are actually standing on two miles worth of ice below us and we can use ice cores like tree rings. To get an idea of what past conditions were like. And we can, what is going to happen in the past to predict what will happen in the future.

WARD: But summit hefty price tag made it a possible target for proposed budget cuts. The Trump administration wants to slash funding to the national science foundation. Many fear this summit could be the first casualty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is politics of short term gain, long term environmental pain.

WARD: Bach said he is frustrated by the White House's lack of commitment to climate change studies. And its decision to withdraw from the Paris accord. Some people will say listen, look back over the history of the planet there have been since ice ages, there have been huge heat waves, there is a natural extreme fluctuation in temperatures and that is just part of living on planet earth. What do you say to that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is true there are natural cycles in climate. But what's happening now is human activity has become the dominant agent of change for about the 150 years. The climate change we observe today is at least, 80 percent, due to human activity. We are now a force of nature.

WARD: And not a force for good. For millennia mankind's presence in Greenland has been dwarfed by the dramatic scenery and by the extraordinary living creatures we share this unique habitat with. But in recent history, the balance of power has shifted. And with it, the responsibility to do something. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Greenland.


HOWELL: You can see more of Clarissa's reporting from Greenland coming up this weekend here on CNN. "Global warning arctic melt" Saturday, 9:00 p.m. in London and Sunday morning at 8:30 in Hong Kong only here on CNN. Next on "Newsroom" we examine the decade's long practice of Hollywood whitewashing and how one highly anticipated film is breaking away from.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: After a year of searching and watching 1,000 auditions,

Disney has found the actress who will star in the remake of "Mulan" and the fact that a Chinese actress was chosen for the Chinese role is making headlines. Amara Walker reports.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mister I'll make a man out of you.

AMARA WALKER, CNN NTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a warrior to save her father. The story of Disney's Mulan will once again hit the big screen. Two decades after its initial release, the popular animated film its getting a live action remake. And Disney's pick for the starring role is getting global praised. Chinese actress, Liu Yifei was handpicked from nearly 1,000 candidates to play the famed heroine, Mulan to the delight of many of her compatriots.

[03:55:08] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): Acting is something great for China. I think this is a very, very good thing. And this is something for us, for Chinese people to be proud of.

WALKER: Hollywood films have come under fire of late for so-called whitewashing. Casting white actors in nonwestern roles. Particularly Asian characters. Like the Chinese epic, the great wall, which cast, Matt Damon as the lead character.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me fight with you.

WALKER: Scarlet Johannsen in starring role in the remake of Japanese anime Ghost in the Shell. But Disney has reportedly determined to cast an actress of Chinese decent. Preferably with some skills in martial art and fluent in English. As its main character in Mulan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember in the past, most American productions filmed in China had Jackie Chan or Jet Li, right. So this is the first time I have heard of a Chinese woman playing the lead role. I am very much looking forward to this.

WALKER: The 30-year-old Chinese native is well known actress and model in the country. She has also appeared in some western films like the 2014 movie "Outcast" with Nicholas Cage.

Her upcoming role as Disney heroin was met with mostly delight and some ambivalence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What Chinese believe are beautiful women westerners believe are just ordinary. Some people who most Chinese think are ugly. Westerners think they're very beautiful. So the aesthetics of beauty is different and the product of what they film will be different.

WALKER: Critics and fans alike will have to make their final judgment when Mulan the movie releases in 2019. Amara Walker, CNN.


HOWELL: Thanks for being with us. I'm George Howell. The news continues with Issa Suarez in London.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House is said to be making a plan to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just as a diplomatic rift between Washington and London threatens President Trump's state visit.

Looking ahead to the 2018 world cup. In a few hours from now, we'll know who's planning who as a draw takes place in Moscow.

And he may be royalty, but those who now Meghan Markle say Prince Harry met his match. Hello and good morning to you I am Isa Soares in London, you are watching CNN Newsroom.